Last week Outsports shared a study identifying about 300 current NFL players who had used gay slurs in old tweets.
While a couple athletes have responded to that post by deleting their tweets – or in the case of Rams player Tyler Higbee expressing regret – the vast majority of NFL players’ old tweets containing anti-gay slurs have gone unchecked and are still active.
On Monday, Outsports identified 48 currently active NFL players who tweeted “f*g” or “f***ot” specifically – representing 22 teams and free agency – whose tweets were still online.
This did not count those who used other problematic homophobic language. It also does not include players like Joe Mixon and Justin Hardee who deleted their tweets since Outsports’ initial story.
Outsports reached out to various players and teams for comment, with only Higbee sharing his thoughts. Virtually every other player and team has refused to comment.. One player – defensive end Clelin Ferrell of the San Francisco 49ers – declined to comment and has not deleted some of his tweets, despite publicly supporting the coming out of his former teammate, Carl Nassib.
As we at Outsports tried to amplify the message of these old tweets, we were lectured by one NFL moderator at Reddit about our story.
“Using your platform to namedrop them and call them out instead of using the opportunity to help educate them makes this feel like more of a hit piece than an expose,” we were told by a Reddit NFL moderator.
Calling out past racist tweets? 100% legit.
Calling out past homophobic tweets? Blasphemy!
Despite the Reddit moderator’s allegation, we at Outsports focused our efforts on making sure the NFL, the NFLPA, various teams, players and others knew about the tweets and had the opportunity to delete the old tweets, respond and adjust.
Our NFL-old-tweets story has, interestingly, also been ignored by the corporate news media. Whereas Allen’s racist tweets were covered by Yahoo, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, USA Today and others, these homophobic tweets have been ignored.
In a new social-media world order where Facebook and X de-platform external links, it’s entirely possible that many reporters otherwise interested in the conversation around these old tweets may not have seen the story.
Still, if it were the story about Allen’s racist tweets from five years ago, it would not have missed the radar.
Thankfully, the story hasn’t been ignored by some NFL players, as various athletes have since deleted their tweets containing gay slurs. For example, when contacted, Dawson Deaton – now a free agent – told Outsports that he “would have no problem at all with having a LGBTQ teammate.”
That’s the dynamic we at Outsports have seen: Even people who use gay slurs are likely to accept a gay teammate.
Still, over a thousand old tweets from current NFL players are still active, containing homophobic language.
In addition to any current rookies or recently retired players who might have shared gay slurs over the last decade, here are the current NFL players who had used the ultimate gay slur – “f*g” or “f***ot” in tweets and still had those tweets active as of Monday:
Ronnie Stanley (NFLPLA team rep)
Jason Cabinda (NFLPLA team rep)